The City of Venice recently held its 10th Annual Make a Difference Day (MADD) with 450 volunteers ages 5-85 giving of their time to beautify the City. Volunteers with 22 groups and 100 individuals landscaped, mulched, raked, cleaned and collected litter and debris at over 25 parks and public spaces.

“You see a heart of a community coming together … people from different groups and different schools,” said head organizer Jim Foubister, President of Together We Can.

Each year, hundreds of volunteers turn out for this citywide community service effort, which saves the City thousands of dollars and benefits the local environment. Efforts for this past MADD event are the equivalent of about 1,350 man-hours in public works. According to Parks Supervisor Skip Petitt, volunteers laid down 4,700 bags of mulch and spread 160 cubic yards of bulk mulch, the equivalent of two full tractor-trailer loads.

City Manager Ed Lavallee is grateful for residents’ shared pride for the City. “Venice really is the people,” Lavallee said. “It’s the culture. It’s the personality. It’s the inviting atmosphere that we have. This just fortifies that.”

Ten public works employees assisted in the efforts. Several churches, clubs, sports teams and other community groups participated. Following the event, participants enjoyed a complimentary lunch at a City park sponsored by the Sertoma Club and Venice Presbyterian. A lunch from 10 local churches was served by One Christ Won City and Her Hands His Heart.